Catholic lawyers have protested the move by court to allow the state withdraw from the case in which Fr.Jacinto Kibuuka, the new Bishop of the Antiochian Eastern Orthodox Church was sued for abusing Catholic church leaders.
Shortly after his consecration, the lawyers filed for criminal prosecutions against Kibuuka on accusations of uttering words and engaging in act that ‘injured feelings’ of the Roman Catholic Church leaders and followers when he referred to them as ‘abayaaye’(crooks) while appearing on a local radio station.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP0 as mandated by the constitution took over the matter for it was criminal in nature.
Kibuuka was due to appear in court for plea taking but he never showed up twice.
Plea taking refers to the process where the accused either denies or accepts to having committed the offence.
However, on Friday, the prosecutor Superintendent of Police Mark Odong told court that the Director of Public Prosecutions in a letter dated November 28, was no longer interested in pursuing the matter.
In response, the catholic lawyers represented by Jude Mbabaali objected to the decision by the state to withdraw from the case saying by the time the DPP made the decision, he had not carefully read through the case file to get accustomed with the facts and evidence therein.
Mbabaali asked court to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court to decide whether it was right for the state to lose interest in a matter yet they had not carefully read through the case file.
However in response, Emmanuel Muwonge,a lawyer who represented the DPP said that the provisions of the law that allow him(DPP) take over private criminal prosecutions also allows him to withdraw from any matter he deems fit.
Meanwhile, Buganda Road grade one Magistrate Charles Yeteise ruled in the favor of the state arguing it was constitutional for the DPP to withdraw from the matter as he deems fit.
“Court cannot question the DPP’s way of work and reasons he does so,” Yeteise said before allowing the DPP to formally withdraw from the case and proceedings closed.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the case, Mbabaali said it was absurd that the state had withdrawn from the matter.
“DPP’s withdrawal only serves to show that government is behind Fr.Kibuuka,”Mbabaali said.
“We as Catholic lawyers think it is government’s intension to disunite the Catholic Church but we will not allow it continue.”
Mbabaali vowed the lawyers would sit and forge a way forward including petitioning in a higher court against the ruling of the Magistrates court.
“We are going to pursue him until he stops abusing the Catholic Church.”
The criminal proceedings against Fr.Jacinto Kibuuka have now formally been stopped.